Don't expect major reform changes until 2017

Although lawmakers eventually will amend the healthcare reform law, Congress won't likely take any action until after the next presidential election in 2017, reported CQ HealthBeat. The substance of the reform law will remain whole, but changes to such a large legislative package are practically inevitable, experts told an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) panel. "This legislation is not going away," said Gail Wilensky, who previously ran the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "It has problems that at some point we'll start to get refocused on, and deal with." It's still uncertain what the next administration will focus on, but Joseph Antos, a researcher with AEI, said revisions could center around smaller companies dropping health coverage and moving to new kinds of health insurance exchanges, CQ HealthBeat noted. "Suppose employers embrace private exchanges in a big, big way, which I think they will. This is what happened with pensions," Antos said. "Then I could see some regulation to provide a little more protection, just like what happened with pension plans going to 401(k)s." Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, added: "The Affordable Care Act is not the last word in how we're going to change America's healthcare system. It's a major change to be sure ... but it will be modified." Article

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